BJP failed to support farmers, job seekers: Congress

BJP failed to support farmers, job seekers: Congress

New Delhi: Calling BJP’s manifesto as “Jumlafesto 2.0”, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi on Thursday attacked the Narendra Modi government for “failing to alleviate farm distress and generate jobs” as the country went to polls for the first phase.

“It will take 28 years to double farmers’ incomes at this GDP growth rate. For farmers’ income to double by 2022, it will have to grow by 12 per cent every year,” Singhvi said in a statement commenting on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s promise to double farm incomes by 2022.

Listing down BJP’s promises made in 2014 and in 2019, and stating how they were broken or were un-implementable, he said agriculture growth under the Modi government was abysmal at 2.9 per cent as against 4.2 per cent under the 10 years of UPA government.

After promising minimum support price (MSP) at 150 per cent of the cost of farm produce to farmers, the Modi government “shockingly” filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on February 20, 2015, stating that it was not possible to pay that much MSP.

The BJP has repeated its promise of pension to farmers in 2019 as it failed to take steps on welfare measures of farmers above 60 years of age in the last five years despite making a promise in 2014, he said.

Further, PM Modi’s farm insurance scheme for crop loss — Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana — only benefited the private insurance companies as they earned a profit of Rs 21,731 crore in the past four seasons, Singhvi said.

On economy and employment fronts, the Congress spokesperson said the government failed in carrying out banking reforms, encouraging household savings, reducing non-performing assets (NPAs) and creation of employment.

“Twenty-eight economic offenders like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya looted Indian banks of Rs 1 lakh crore and fled India under PM Modi’s watch. Half of the public sector banks are under PCA framework, i.e. no new loans can be given,” he said.

NPAs of scheduled commercial banks rose from Rs 2,51,054 crore as on March 31, 2014 to Rs 10,36,187 crore as on March 31, 2018 during the Modi government, he said, adding that experts are of the view that it will cross Rs 12 lakh crore by March 31, 2019.

Finally, Singhvi said the government failed to create 2 crore jobs per year and that there is no mention about employment generation in the 2019 manifesto. Citing the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), he said 4.7 crore jobs have been lost and that unemployment is at its highest in 45 years.

Three crore jobs of farm labourers have been lost, as per the NSSO, and 77 per cent of Indian workers will have vulnerable employment by 2019, according to the International Labour Organisation, he said.